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Fontana Mix by John Cage


This is a tape realization of John Cage’s 1958 composition “Fontana Mix”. More of an indeterminate plan for a piece than a piece itself, “Fontana Mix” has a graphic score consisting of 10 sheets of paper with curved lines and 12 transparencies, 10 of which contain a varied number of randomly distributed dots, 1 with a straight line, and the last with a grid pattern. According to Cage’s instructions these sheets could be superimposed upon each other and then interpreted so as to indicate differences in such elements as tone, duration, or volume of a variety of different sound events. Thus it was a type of manual for creating a piece of music that could be realized using traditional instruments, electronic sounds, random samples, or virtually any other type of sound making device. For this particular realization two separate mixes, consisting of electronic or electronically manipulated sounds were created and were then intended to be played simultaneously. The resulting work is a prime example of Cage’s fascination with the ideas of indeterminacy, chance, and silence. Originally entitled “Performance Mix” it was later renamed in honor of Cage’s Italian landlady Signora Fontana.

Run time 20 miin


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( VBR )
on 3/19/2009